Sharing Usage Analysis

A few weeks ago I upgraded our sharing infrastructure on our various Streetsblogs to use the ShareThis service.  Previously we had a custom set of icons that were not integrated into a sharing service.

I made this upgrade partly to make it more obvious to people how to share posts and in so doing promote sharing and expand the reach of our content.  The old buttons were in the sidebar and the new ones are larger and directly below the post.  I decided to have just the twitter, facebook, and email buttons due to data from our ShareThis widget on GothamSchools which shows that these are the most popular channels.

Another benefit of going with a service like ShareThis is that it provides analytics that tell us which posts are the most shared, which channels are most popular, etc.  See below:

Statistics from April 19-25

blog shares/1000 page views total shares email facebook twitter most shared
GothamSchools.org 2.264 29 23 9 3 –>
Streetsblog.org 1.245 58 5 25 28 –>
dc.Streetsblog.org 5.481 72 17 33 22 –>
la.Streetsblog.org 2.606 35 4 24 7 –>
sf.Streetsblog.org 1.286 28 1 19 8 –>
Streetsblog.net 5.599 46 4 22 20 –>

From this data it’s interesting to see that the dc.Streetsblog.org and Streetsblog.net sites have readers who share more than twice as often as any other site.  GothamSchools readers share by email much more than through any other channel while the other sites have facebook and twitter more dominant.

Note that this data does not include shares that are made manually, where someone copies the url out of their browser window to share.  It’s possible more technical crowds favor this method.  I personally share things on the web this way.

Finally, ShareThis also provides statistics which compare behavior on our sites to other sites in the same peer groups.  For example, here is the social reach index by channel for Streetsblog.org over the last week:

So, in comparison to other blogs in the Streetsblog.org “peer group”, people share on Streetsblog.org about average using twitter but well below average using other channels.

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